Remember how I gave you prayer advice?
Never pray for organization….especially if you are a borderline-hoarder and have a giant dumping ground of a basement. I stand by that statement. Put that on a kitten poster or something equally influential.
If you are new to the party, we have friends moving into our basement temporarily (read more by clicking here). They are planning on staying for a few months and we needed to do a full clear out so that they would have room for their important things…like their three kids. Our basement is pretty big….like the most actual square footage of any floor in our entire house with ten foot ceilings….and in the past we didn’t really use it for anything more than storage. We did host my sister’s wedding down there at one point, and Jeremy’s old office was there, and we use the storage areas for our holiday stuff and our old workroom….but over the past four years, every single room just became a dumping ground. That’s a lot of dumping ground. And it wasn’t pretty.
So the plan was simple….clean out everything. Take everything out of every single room and sort, burn, trash, and store. Sounds simple right?
Our back storage hall needed major cleaning out….this is when we actually took out every Christmas and holiday box and half of everything else. Don’t mind my window hoarding….I have dreams of a future green house 🙂
The future kitchen was loaded down. I called this space “where toys go to die” because OHTHETOYS! Seriously….it’s like every toy was procreating down there and having triplets. That entire pack-n-play was filled with play things. That couch on the side….from my college days. And that tv….it doesn’t even work.
The big living space was our sort zone. Things went into a couple different categories….yard sale, craigslist, Monroe House storage, personal storage (like holiday decor, entertaining stuff, etc.), burn, trash or to-be-put-away. That last category was for things that already had homes…office supplies went into the office, lost cups went into the kitchen, etc. It was crazy how much we actually burned and threw away….crazy how much garbage we were holding onto for years for no good reason.
It took about three weeks from start to finish and we got help several times from my mom (she is a wizard with work like this), my brother and his fiancé and even our friends family came over once to act as pack mules, carrying stuff from the basement to the garage. And just before the first move-in load arrived, we got everything done! Here is the cleared out living space….
And the future kitchen will go here…(we can’t wait to share that whole process!)
The dining area got completely cleared out too (sorry about the blurry photo)…
And both bedrooms were empty….here’s the smaller one that Brook and Kent use….
And the bigger one is large enough for their three kiddos (they fit a couple dressers, a bunk bed, a rocking chair and a crib in here!)….
The back hallway was ready to become their ‘homeschool classroom’….
And our hallway? We are gonna split this with them. We need half of it for our holiday storage and the other half will hold their storage stuff (things they decided not to put in their rented storage unit). We plan on installing hookups for their washer and dryer, redoing the stained floor and are going to be putting a partition up. Can’t wait to show you how that goes!
And our back storage room is basically where we put everything else….all the furniture we are saving for this space (when they move out), and our extra decor items and anything we held onto for the Monroe house. We sold a lot of big pieces like my white and blue painted china hutch, the boys white dresser that got a spectacular makeover, etc. and all that moolah is going back into the basement kitchen.
And everything else? Well, there was TONS and TONS of junk. Think JLo’s and all the Kardashians trunks filled to the brim. My mom had even cleared out some of her storage and donated to our yard sale pile. It was mammoth.
We held the yard sale over the past couple weekends. Just on Saturdays. When it was all said and done, we had so much junk it filled our table displays inside the garage and poured out into the driveway.
Stuff was everywhere. Most everything you see was a dollar. Every offer was accepted. It was crazy how much we had.
And the best part was that we got rid of everything! Note I didn’t say SELL everything…we had family and friends go through stuff, our neighbors came by at the end and picked through the remnants and after we were completely done, we called a charity that did same-day pick up and they took everything in their truck. It was amazing to finally let go of so much stuff. Like a giant purge! And the best part was that the money we made went straight into our Basement Kitchen fund….so it definitely is nice knowing that we are gonna get something useful and beautiful out of all that work.
So that’s my update on our basement. Total success! Since January is usually the month dedicated to fresh and clean and organization, it felt really appropriate to get it completed this month. And since our friends ended up moving in earlier than expected, it couldn’t have happened too soon! Maybe after this I will have to hand over my ‘hoarder’ pageant sash….or maybe I could just start collecting more sashes and tiaras too…perhaps I’ll wait till they move out so I have more room for my collection 🙂